New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS): Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran was today summoned by a special court hearing the Aircel-Marxis deal, as part of the larger 2G spectrum allocation case, to appear before it on March 2.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court Judge OP Saini, after taking cognizance of the charges framed in the case, also summoned Maran's brother Kalanithi, and Malaysian businessmen T. Ananda Krishnan and Augustus Ralph Marshall, among others, as co-accused in the case.
The agency has alleged that Dayanidhi Maran used his influence to help Krishnan to buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake.
It was alleged by Sivasankaran that Dayanidhi Maran favoured the Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. In return, he further alleged, the company made investments through Astro Network in a company stated to be owned by the Maran family.
Four companies -- Chennai-based Sun Direct TV, Britain-based Astro All Asia Networks, Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and the South Asia Entertainment Holdings of Mauritius -- have also been named in the charges filed Aug 29.
The CBI has said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused.
The probe agency has booked all the accused under charges of criminal conspiracy and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court noted that there was enough incriminating material against each of the accused after carefully going through the copy of the first information report, charge sheet, statements of witnesses and related documents appended to the voluminous records of the case.
At the same time the court observed that Krishnan and Marshall were residing outside the country and Britain-based Astro All Asia Networks, Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and the South Asia Entertainment Holdings of Mauritius were foreign firms.
"It is further submitted by the senior public prosecutor that out of the eight accused, five are residing outside the country, in different countries, that is, Malaysia, Mauritius and UK, and remaining three are residents of Chennai and, as such, at least four months' clear time be granted for effecting service of process of the court on these accused persons," the court said.
Accordingly, the court found the prayer of the senior public prosecutor to be logical, and hence fixed March 2 next year as the date for appearance.